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Organics Testing in Water

Alfa Chemistry has experienced chemists who can perform a comprehensive analysis of organic compounds in water to help customers test surface water and oil field organic compounds in water, While providing reliable data for their projects.

How to Measure Organic Matter in Water

Organic matter in water is tested by the sum of total organic matter content, particulates and dissolved organic carbon, also known as humus or refractory organic matter. Due to its complex nature and variability from source to source, quantifying organic matter remains a challenge.

The element experts of Alfa Chemistry can detect natural organic matter through many advanced spectroscopy, chromatography and mass spectrometry methods. For routine non-selective monitoring, our experts usually rely on quantifying organic carbon content (ie, measuring total organic carbon or dissolved organic carbon), using specific UV absorbance to estimate hydrophobicity, and using photoelectrochemical chemical oxygen demand to determine oxidation potential.

Organics Testing in Water

Types of Organic Matter in Water

The types of organic matter in water may be very diverse and exist in the form of suspension, colloid, or true solution. Organic matter may come from plant matter, field runoff, domestic and industrial waste. Our testing capabilities include but are not limited to:

  • Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) - BOD is an indirect method of measuring biodegradable organic compounds in water.
  • Nutrient - It is a chemical element or compound necessary for the growth of plants and animals. Nutritional parameters include ammonia, organic nitrogen, Kjeldahl nitrogen, nitrate-nitrogen, and total phosphorus.
  • Organic carbon - Most of the organic carbon in water comes in the form of partially degraded plant and animal materials, some of which are resistant to microbial degradation.
  • Oil and grease - This is a common parameter to quantify organic matter from humans. These organic substances often come from illegal dumping into sewers and oil spills.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOC) - VOC includes a large number of different compounds, including more common compounds including nitrosamines and aldehydes.
  • Semi-volatile compounds - It is used to describe compounds with relatively low volatility, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), nitroaromatic hydrocarbons, and pesticides, which are considered to be potentially carcinogenic and cause Mutagenicity and destructive to human health.
  • Persistent organic pollutants (POP) - These include dioxins, furans, polybrominated diethyl ethers (PBDE), PCB, PAH etc. Studies have shown that even at very low concentrations, POP is extremely toxic to humans and wild animals.

Types of Organic Matter in Water

Water Testing Standards

  • ASTM D1252-06(2020) Standard Test Methods for Chemical Oxygen Demand (Dichromate Oxygen Demand) of Water
  • ASTM D1783-01(2020) Standard Test Methods for Phenolic Compounds in Water
  • ASTM D2036-09(2015) Standard Test Methods for Cyanides in Water
  • ASTM D4129-05(2020) Standard Test Method for Total and Organic Carbon in Water by High Temperature Oxidation and by Coulometric Detection
  • ASTM D4128 -18 Standard Guide for Identification and Quantitation of Organic Compounds in Water by Combined Gas Chromatography and Electron Impact Mass Spectrometry

For more information about organic testing in water, please contact our experts immediately.

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